Assessment for Learning (AFL) has become so synonymous with effective teaching that it is often easy to forget that there are hundreds of great ways to “do AFL”. It is also easy to forget that fundamentally formative assessment has two main purposes:
1)To give feedback to the teacher about their teaching; what students have and have not learned so that lessons can be reshaped.
2) To create thinking and increase learning with students.
Trade Cards 27, 37,39 and 47 all do this IF done correctly. As with everything in teaching the context and application of any technique is critical in maximising its impact on learning.
Trade card 27 “Video feedback” might be labour intensive to start but can yield great results. Film yourself giving general guidance/ class feedback on an exam then give students the homework of watching it / taking notes from it before they do or re-do the test. The time you invest in making the video will be paid back by not having to correct as many mistakes when marking!
Trade Card 37: Multiple choice is possibly the most underrated and under used form of questioning in teaching. This is a great shame as, if done properly, it fulfils the two reasons for AFL fully: It creates thinking and gives the teacher information about the class. For a fully discussion of Multiple Choice see the superb blog by @Learningdataguy at:
Trade Card 39 – If YOU are selecting students and you are selecting only from those who know the answer or put their hands up (or those who are talking as a behaviour management tool) then you are more than likely increasing the achievement gap in your class. Students will quickly realise it is easy to avoid questions by “hiding” or make the totally logical action of letting the “smart” kids answer. Don’t do it! Randomise
Trade Card 47 has been well discussed in a previous blog :https://itilbury.wordpress.com/2013/09/27/view-from-the-classroom-traffic-lights-fad-or-fantastic/ Using traffic lights can give the teacher an enormous amount of information about their teaching and the learning of individuals, if done properly it can engage the entire class in the struggles of learning.
Of course none of these techniques will be of much benefit if the questions you set have not been well crafted… For more on this read : https://itilbury.wordpress.com/2015/11/09/the-thinking-classroom-dont-call-it-challenge/
AFL is in many respects the cornerstone of great teaching… which is why it is so difficult to master, but give these trade cards a go and see what happens.